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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 21, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT

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>> host: this week, at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis, maryland, and joining us is professor aaron o'connell, author of "underdogs: the making of the marine corp.". when was the marine corp. established? >> guest: in 1775, but the? birth date is something of a
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myth. marines claimed 10 november 1775 #, but that's actually just the date that congress authorized the creation. they never raised the battalions that was allowed for. ?????? >> guest: they had to have people to enforce discipline, and the job was to be ship's guards, and also serve as boarding parties and snipers originally. they were a very small part of the knave vie. >> and the marine corp. is completely separate from the navy now? >> >> guest: they are, they
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are a separate service in the navy, but it was contentious throughout the history. the corp. would claim when they served aboard ship, they should follow the rule of the navy, and when they served the army, follow the regulations of the army, and in 1832, they are a proposerly separate service inside the navy. >> host: how did the mission change in 1832? >> guest: it didn't change much then. they were something of jack of all trades doing other jobs as well. most often receiverring as landing parties when the navy would send sailors and ma reaps ashore on punitive expeditions, marines always would participate in that. in the start of the 20th century, they took on colonial infantry in haiti, philippines, and then just before world war ii, they started creating amphibious landing forces, landing against defended
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islands. >> host: what was the marine corp.'s reputation throughout history? >> guest: not very good.?? quite honestly, everybody thinks about the corp. today as the?? most elite of the major armed?? services, and that's been?? validated by numerous polls over the last 12 years, routinely th? american people say most elite service. it was not that at the start of world war ii. boys of enlistment ages, rough, route, ranked last, thee least popular service, and it was similar to that in the years prior too. these were pretty big thuggish guys that were serving as the cops aboard ships, and the navy didn't like them, arian -- army didn't like them. they had trouble getting quality men in service. displs what -- >> host: what happened? what changed? >> guest: i couple things.
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the most important was world war ii. once they gained fame, holding out on wake island until christmas day basically against a japanese attack, president roosevelt makes a mention of them in the state of the union address, and the marines' reputation is really recreated because of active intervention by the corp. and just the nature of the fighting gwen japan so the first major land operation in the pacific, the -- the operation in the canal, the marines really come through some horrible fighting and hold the island and the reputation is recreated from that moment forward. >> host: now, did their mission change over the years organically or was it something there was legislatively done? >> guest: yes. the mission changes organically with the active planning of the marine corp., really in the 1950s, and something very interesting happening here.
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after world war ii, all of the other services and the president and anyone who's qualified to speak on national defense argues nuclear weapons changed everything. we'll never have another amphibious landing. you can't move men ship to shore against an enemy with nuclear weapons. the army used that to radically reduce the marine corp.. they fight back and win. in 1947, they argue the big war in nuclear weapons is probably not going to happen.? they? say, how are you going to keep stability in? the cold war if all you have something is? that can atomize people?? you need peace keeping, disaste? relief, small stability? operations. they argue this in 1947, and by? 1956, the height of the cold?? war, arguing explicitly the war? with the soviet union will not? happen. you need capable non-nuclear? forces to? arrive immediately ?
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do a lot of things.?? we are that service. by the late 40s and 50s, they?? are building what are called the marine air ground task forces .???????????????? >> host: was there a strong come -- commander who pushed it in the
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change? >> guest: the argument of the underdogs is the marine's service culture is an under studied factor in all changes. in the mission changes, public relation successes, and their political lobbying which is really a fascinating story. the main argument here is the way they thought about themselves, how they thought about warfare and the other services was really unique. it was different from the the way the other services did, and it gave them a cohesion and a sort of energy, not seen in the other services. really, it's all an e elaborate proof of the claim by johnson when a man knows he has to be hanged, it concentrates his mind wonderfulfully. the marines had a lot of? experience. when they came home and saw thets to their service, institutional threats inside the
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defense establishment, they mustered an extraordinary amount of cohesion and focus to push back the attempts successfully. >> first of all, what was the marine's role in korea? >> guest: the marines were the first forces -- not the first forces sent in, but the marines sent as conventional combat troops to push back the advance doing the same thing as the army, but they got there early, and the reason they got there early is because as soon as the north koreans vaded on 25 june 1950, they immediately started mustering troops which got on ships, arrived in korea in less than a month. they came with their own aviation. what this meant in the critical first battles to stop the north korean advance, that the marines were doing what's called combined arms operation. while the infantry moves, they
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have their own planes and naval aviation overhead. that ability to arrive immediately and be ready for combat right away was exactly what the marines said was important after world war ii when the other services said, no, no, with nuclear weapons, you won't do that anymore. >> host: you mentioned political lobbies on behalf of the marines. how did that occur? >> guest: extraordinary. after world war ii, services reorganize doing away with the war department and navy department as cabinet positions and create what's the department of defense. in the start of the process, the president and all the other services were more or less on board with radically reducing the marine's role in national defense. they didn't want another land army which is what they thought the marines had come to by world war ii. marines took the as many asest? and most well-connected officers, and they really becam? insurgents inside the defense?
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establishment.?? they broke rules.?? they stole top secret documents? they copieded them. they gave them out to the press. they directly violated the orders of the president.?? they almost got their come daun? relieved, and they did all of? this because they believed the corp. was at risk, and the only? way to save it was not by?? working within the rules, but outside those rules, and it was? an extraordinary success.?? not only do they defeat the first round of legislation, but? by 1953, they got on the joint? chiefs, a two star major general to a four star general with the role on the joint chiefs of?? staff, and they get a specific protection by congress saying?? the marine corp. will not be?? smaller than three divisions an? three air wings, andenings mr. ? and, mr. president, you can't? change that.? that's a remarkable achievement to get congress to reach in the? president's prerogative on structuring the armed forces by book door lobbying.? >> host: president eisenhower
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a fan??? >> guest: neither truman or?? eisenhower were a fan of the marine.?? both army veterans.?? they tried to do the first?? restructuring, which the corp. beat back scefly.? truman said in a letter of really incautious haste, that?? the marines have a propaganda machine almost? equal to stali? he's in so much trouble that he? makes a public apology, and?? that's the day they mobilize th? congressional coalition to get special protection for three?? divisions and three wings, in? response to truman's blow up. >> host: are you a marine??? >> guest: yes, i am.?? >> host: when did you serve? where? >> guest: joined in 1995,? straight out of college.?? >> host: yale? >> guest: trinity college in hartford, connecticut, and then? yale. i served on active duty for fiv? years, reserve ever since. i have 17 years in now, but i'm incognita here until summer time, and then i get my haircut? >> host: where did you serve??
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>> guest: afghanistan, just?? about a year ago, and then in?? the pentagon and quite a few different positions, and then? also at north carolina, and? little independent station in south bend, indiana. >> host: what are some of the tensions that the marines have with the navy because there is a dependent relationship, isn't there >> guest: yes, although i wouldn't say there's major tensions now, though one of the? benefits of being a historian, you ca?n hide in the past and don't have too to do too much wk in the present.? really, the mod earn ma reap?? corp. today is a remarkable?? success story.?? attentions are very low.?? in the 40s, the navy spent a lo? of time telling the marines?? that, they, we take care of you? we provide the ships, pay for the airplanes and pay for the?? equipment you use.? you should be happy we're hear. ?
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>> guest: they are 14% of the?? armed forces today for the?? active duty. they had no public relations apparatus in 1940, but create a? office with four people in 1941? now they have a rather?? elaborate, and i don't think anybody disagrees the marines have a successful brand.?? prestigious by all accounts, in? for mill ms, videos, and shows? than you can mention. this is all -- this is all?? evidence of their ability to? create? powerful civilian? military alliances that?
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protected their interests in? times of war and in times of peace. >> host: the term "marine" is misleading, isn't it? >> guest: now a -- nowadays it is.?? the ma reaps are tied to the? navy and supposed expertise is amphibious operations. if that's true, why is general? john allen, united states marine corp., the top commander of all nato and coalition troops in?? afghanistan??? perhaps thee single most?? landlocked country in the world? with the possible exception of? chad? the reason is the marines have? expanded the mission set and role in national defense so,?? yes, it doesn't seem right. why are they calledded ma reaps if they -- marines if they fight in the middle of afghanistan. >> host: why do you call the?? book "underdog"??? >> guest: marines call?? themselves devil dogs from world war i, but, really, the best
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term to describe how the marines thought of themselves is under dogs. they were always a minority culture, just a very small institution inside the larger defense establishment, and they've always felt, from their beginnings to be persecuted and under risk, under threat, under siege by the army and navy who they worried would attempt to reduce their numbers, funding, or abolish them outright. the sing the most important characteristic of corp.'s culture is this notion that if they don't do everything they can to win alliances, win friends, and protect their interests, they will be wiped out. >> host: aaron o'connell, is that underdog feeling reenforced in the marines? >> guest: absolutely. it's alive and well today. i will be clear about it, there's positive elements of the trait. it's made them focused and cohesive. today, a time when they have legislative protections,
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prestigious, popular, and important, presidents don't typically dare insult them as they did in the 40 #s and 50s. marines still say, we got to watch out, we got to take care of our own. if we don't, no one else will. if the public stops caring, we stop to exist. >> host: what do you teach? >> guest: marine corp. history, naval history, classes on afghanistan and civil military relations. >> host: can the mid shipmen transition into the marine corp.? do any transition??? >> guest: roughly 20% each year. it's a? competitive selection? process, more ship mep who want? to be marines than there are? slots for them. they can transition well. we hav?e a number of marines i? the classroom and company staffs who give them familiarization with the culture. >> host: professor, when you served on active duty, did you
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serve on a ship? >> guest: i didn't.?? that's rare. i'm the exception because 12 of? the 17 years were reserve time, and it's less likely to be on a ship. >> host: before we started the interview, you mentioned that you went to yale, and that rotsy was on campus. is that prohibited on any campuses anymore? >> guest: no, it's illegal to prohibit them, but schools have not brought them back yet after the 1960s. they are coming back, and yale started president it's been positive at yale. there's more imptous from the students, but the faculty did not resist it. my old dissertation committee member teaches the class for the new folks, dr. paul kennedy. >> host: new book out on the market, "underdogs: the making of the modern marine corp."??
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marine and professor aaron o'connell is the awe -- author. >> host: this is the cover of a new book out in august 2012 "seven principles of good government, liberty, people, and politics" written by gary johnson, also the libertarian party nominee for president in 2012. governor johnson, when and why did you leave the republican party and become a libertarian? >> well, you know, i've probably been a libertarian my entire life. it's kind of coming out of the closet. i think there's a lot more americans in the country that declare themselves libertarian opposed to voting libertarian
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so, you know, the pitch i'm trying to make now is vote libertarian with me, just one time, give me a shot at changing things, and if it doesn't work out, you can return to tyranny, and i'm going to argue that is what we have right now. >> what are the seven principles of good government you write about? >> well, one is being reality based. find out what's what, base decisions and actions on that, make sure everybody that knows that should know what you're doing knows what you're doing so communicate. don't he hesitate to deliver bad news. there's always time to fix things. if you don't have a job you love enough to do what it takes to get your job done, quit, and get one that you do love. acknowledge mistakes immediately. there's always time to fix things. i know there's a couple more in there, but very common sense, and i did live -- i continue to
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live my life by these principles. >> are they principles you had and used when you were governor of new mexico? >> always, always, and i actually delivered one of my state of the state addresses using the seven principles. look, here's how we need to conduct ourselves, and, anyway, just very -- very common sense. >> if you would, your philosophy and libertarian's philosophy on the role of government, the right size of government. >> so libertarian philosophy, with a broad brush stroke, the notion that most of us in the country are socially accepting and that we're fiscally responsible. that's a broad brush stroke, a broad brush stroke is wearing a pin lapel pin saying "i'm pro-choice regarding everything."
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well, pro-choice regarding everything means that actually if your choices involve putting other people in harm's way or your choices defraud or harm another human being, then that's when the government -- that's where the government has a role, to protect us against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm. >> as governor, did you -- did you shrink the size of the state government? do you -- you used your veto pen quite a bit, but were you able to shrink the size of the state government? >> when it came to dollars, i was able to cut the rate of growth in half, and that was the historical rate of growth, and i pointed that state government employees over an 8-year period, there were 1200 fewer state employees starting with 12,000 ending with 10800. it was a 10% reduction in state
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government employees which i always pointed out unquestionably said that, hey, we were doing things more efficiently because we were doing things with fewer state employees than we were doing more things. i'd like to point out that the real driver of state budgets, state to state, is medicaid, and that, of course, is the federal entitlement, and you're -- it's open ended, and that's what has us in the predictment that we have are the entitlements, medicaid, medicare, social security to a lesser degree, but we have to address the entitlements. we have to address the entitlements. >> what is the libertarian position on that? >> well, i am promises to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. now, that's not promising a balanced budget, but promising to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013 believing if we don't reduce
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government expendtures by $1.4 trillion, that we're going to find ourselves in the midst of a monetary collapse and a mop -- monetary collapse is very simply when the dollars we have are not worth anything, and that's going to be the consequence of us continuing to borrow and print money to the tune of 43 crepts out of every dollar. >> governor gary johnson, author of "seven principles of good government," and also the libertarian candidate for president. what other issues do you write about in this? >> well, this being kind of a background and my history, i've been an entrepreneur my entire life. i started a one-man handyman business in new mexico in 1974, grew that business to employee over a thousand people. using those same principles, you know, showing up on time, just doing what you say you'll do for people. it's amazing how far that will go.
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it talks about my running -- i have been completely outside of politics my entire life, and the only two other political offices that i run for, governor of new mexico and re-election as governor of new mexico, and i may have made a name for myself. i did make a name for myself, arguably vetoing more legislation than the other 49 governors in the country combined. i vetoed 750 bills. i took line item veto to a new art form. i said no to billions of dollars worth of government spending, and i said no to legislation that i think would have just added time and money for us to have to comply with those laws, but that it was not going to make us safer, was not going to improve our lives in any way, and it was going to add money that we were going to have to spend on it and time to comply with it. >> you also funded your own
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campaigns essentially, didn't you? >> well, the first campaign, i funded it out of a $550,000 primary, and $510,000 was mine, and the remaining $30,000 came in the last part of the primary because it appeared i was going to win. new mexico is a state that's 2-to-1 democrat so getting legislated, vowing to be a penny pincher, spending the first time proving i was a penny pincher beyond reproach, and then getting re-elected by a bigger mar gyp the second time than the first time, i think -- i think that's speaks to the fact that people really appreciate good stewardship of tax dollars. >> the party is associated with changing the drug laws, and you advocated for that as well. >> changing the? >> drug laws. >> drug laws, yes.
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since 1999, i advocated for legalizing marijuana, control it, regulate it, tax it. it's at a tipping point with marijuana and legalizing it. i think that colorado is going to do that. it's on the ballot in colorado, regulate it like alcohol. i think it's going to pass. when it does, and if it doesn't pass in colorado, it's going to pass. 50% of americans support the notion. it's a crowing number, it's a growing number because people talk about the issue more than they ever had before recognizing 90% of the drug problems are prohibition related, not use related. that's not to discount problems with use and abuse, but that should be the focus. when we legalize marijuana, we will take expwrient steps forward regarding other drugs, and that's going to be starting with looking at the drug issue first as a health issue rather
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than a criminal justice issue. let's get the police out on the streets enforcing real crime, free up the courts, and let's empty the prisons of the 2.3 million people that we have in them, the majority category of those being drug related, and, of course, we're not going to release anybody from jail that has committed other crimes in lieu of drug crimes, but those in jail, victimless, non-violence, drug crime, there needs to be commutation of those sentences, and there needs to be pardons for 30 million americans that, but for the drug laws and served out their sentences, but for our drug laws would otherwise be tax paying, law-abiding citizens. >> governor johnson, where do you see the intersection between republican policies and libertarian policies? >> on the right when you talk about a balanced budget, when
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you talk about a balanced budget, and we need to balance it immediately. we have to cut federal spending, strong u.s. dollar, monetary policy. that's the intersection. if i can jump ahead, the intersection when it comes to democrats is civil liberties. look, repeal the patriot act. i would have never signed the national defense authorization agent allowing for you and i to be arrested and detained without being charged by the u.s. government. let's bring about marriage equality, get out of afghanistan tomorrow, bring the troops home, let's end the drug wars. look, these are democrat issues, historically democrat issues that they are not going anywhere on today like republicans, historically, their issues are on dollars and cents, and neither one of the parties do well in the areas that they are supposed to do well. they are horrible in the areas that they don't do well, meaning romney is horrible on civil liberties, and obama is horrible
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when it comes to dollars and cents. >> as a libertarian now, is it a little tougher to get media attention away from the two-party system, and epsz as the campaign -- especially as the campaign goes on this fall? >> well, speaking for myself, personally, actually, there's been a 30% pick up in attention given, making the switch, so, no, i think just the opposite, that it has picked up, and i'm believing thatñhr when people ce to recognize that there are going to be three candidates on the ballot in all 50 states, me being one of the three, that that's going to go a long way in garnering just a little bit of who is that person along with ron paul's campaign coming to an end, and by his own admission. he says it's coming to an end. i think that ron paul supporters would not be compromising the


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